Snow wins all-clear to play in Europe

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Newport were yesterday given a lift in the week of their Heineken Cup debut against Munster with the news that Rod Snow, their Canada prop, has been given the all-clear to play in the tournament.

Newport were yesterday given a lift in the week of their Heineken Cup debut against Munster with the news that Rod Snow, their Canada prop, has been given the all-clear to play in the tournament.

Although Snow has resided in Wales for almost five years it was believed he did not fill the residential criterion, since only two overseas players are permitted in European competition, and Gary Teichmann and Simon Raiwalui fill those spots. But after studying the regulations it was realised that the five-year rule applied only to players who had not resided in the country of their club for three years.

The tournament organisers and the Welsh Rugby Union were quickly persuaded that Snow had resided continuously in Wales for more than the three years. "This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me," said Snow. "It is the highest level of competition I have ever played in. It is the equivalent of the Super 12."

But as one man gets in, another drops out. Emile Ntamack is expected to be sidelined for a month after dislocating his right shoulder playing for Toulouse against Dax at the weekend. It means he misses the European Cup ties against Saracens, Cardiff and Ulster.

Another Rugby League coach is talking of switching codes. John Kear, who was sacked by Huddersfield in July, has been working part-time as a defence coach with Cardiff and has admitted that he is tempted to follow Phil Larder, Ellery Hanley and Joe Lydon into the Union game.

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